As we get into the text this evening, we would do well to remind ourselves of some of the things we discovered in the overview we had at the beginning of the book.

There are a number of unsuccessful attempts by so-called “higher critics” to attack Peter’s authorship, and to be honest it isn’t anything earthshattering or new in the realm of nonsense they have tried to proclaim in order to attack the sufficiency and infallibility of Scripture.  However, the same tired arguments have been used against this letter more than any other book in the New Testament.  In fact, this letter is opened just like the preceding letter is, but somehow because of “differences in word usage,” they claim that this letter is NOT written by Peter , all the while NOT contesting the authorship of the first. 

As we have seen in Paul’s pastoral epistles, different word usage is often the case when a different topic is under discussion.  Peter is no different in this case.  He is no longer talking about the glories of Christ, and the Church, and the trials that the fledgling church was then entering.  The purpose of this letter was to warn of the coming onslaught of false teachers that Peter foresaw, and that Jude directly encountered.  That calls for different word usage and different kinds of speech.  As such, Peter is taking it upon himself to remind the saints before his own death that we are in pursuit of objective and absolute truth, not just emotional and wishful thinking.

Something I noted personally, and I know this will come out as I speak, but I do feel it fair to inform you, is that Peter was a shepherd of the flock, and as such, this is a very personal message to me to do as Peter does, and remind you of who you are, whose you are, and your potential destiny, and you have more than one potential destiny in play until you make certain your calling and choosing by God, as per v.10 of this same chapter. 

One potential destiny is that you have been called and chosen by God, in which case, you have an actual code of behaviour to aspire to and implement by your own will as God sanctifies you.  Peter described those vv.5-8, and I won’t repeat them here, other than to say that you must implement and practice the fruit of the Spirit if you are really His disciple, and you should increasingly WANT to do so.  I say that because I am not you.  If these things are NOT increasing in you, this could be indicative of spiritual problems that you should attempt to discover and sort out, or sin of which you need to repent.  Either way, get that done before we all run out of time.

Another potential destiny is that you have never yet submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ in a way that He has become YOUR Lord Jesus Christ.  If that is the case, the remedy is simple, you must repent.  The Greek word, as we have said many times, is metanoia, and it literally means to change your mind and/or direction about your sin.  I say “and” here, and I’ll briefly explain.  Changing your mind is admitting your actions are sinful, and that’s a part of repentance.  However, so is changing your direction and moving away from those sins by ceasing to do them.  Christ died to pay the price of your freedom from slavery to that sin, and that means you can not only call it what it is, but you can stop doing those things and do things more in keeping with pleasing the One that has bought and paid for you by paying the price for your sins.  That, coupled with the belief that He actually died in your place as the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for your sins, and His subsequent resurrection, will justify you before God and expunge those sins from your record.  To put it simply, He both paid the price for your sin and wiped clean your criminal record before God, the judge of all.  If you can accept that, it greatly improves your potential destiny, because the alternative is to perish and pass into eternal and conscious suffering in Hell forever.  It’s your choice, friend.  Choose wisely, and choose before we all run out of time.

That ends the introductory commentary for this portion of text, so I broke down the text this evening as follows:

KV20:  Be reminded that this is an objective truth here

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

12-15:  I will be faithful to remind you

16-18:  We were eyewitnesses of His majesty

19-21:  This isn’t just my interpretation here

For the sake of intelligent commentary, let’s just jump right in.

KV20:  Be reminded that this is an objective truth here

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

In our Postmodern world, our youth is trained to believe in what I will very loosely term our “education” system that truth is relative to the individual.  Whoever thought this nonsense up really didn’t think that through.  Instead of acknowledging the truth for what it is, they are taught to see what everyone says as their “personal” truth.  Those of you that are a little older or who have discovered that this is an insidious lie will recognize that truth by its nature is exclusive and restrictive.  For example, the mono-colored wall cannot be both red and green at the same time.  Even at Christmas.  If you believe what is clearly a green wall to be red, then you are either colour-blind or deceived.  We will assume for the moment that deliberate deceit is not your goal here, which would be termed gaslighting.  You are simply mistaken, you have been lied to and have believed it, or you know the truth and are unrighteously suppressing it for your own agenda and reasons.

In my simple example, we are involving colour, but with Scripture, we are doing the same thing with your worldview.  It is either Christian, Pagan, or Synchretous, a dangerous and evil mixing of the two.  That might be a new word to some of you, so our application of that would be taking a phenomenon that is clearly from a different religion and bringing it into Christianity and doing it like it belonged there.  It would be like us sacrificing a lamb for communion, for example, and I had to think for a moment to get one that wouldn’t offend your sensibilities here.  I had very little trouble coming up with some sacred cow examples, by the way, and I have a lot to say about how modern “churchianity” involved this nonsense in worship when Christ or His chosen Apostles called that very action sinful, but this is for another time.  The violation of the simplicity of Christian worship viewed in the New Testament is literally everywhere today.  You can see it in the two-hour rock concerts that are called Sunday Worship.  I’m not against music.  I’m the lead singer in our worship band at the moment.  But we don’t put on two-hour concerts where someone gives a 5-minute motivational speech that may or may not reference Scripture, let alone correctly and in context, and everyone jumps up and down for two hours straight while we manipulate you emotionally.

No, at best, we have four or maybe five songs, and the words are focused on Christ, what He has done for us, or who He is in the grand scheme of creation.  The main feature of ANY Christian worship should be the praise and glory of Christ, through everything in the service, especially when it comes to a service where we have the Lord’s Table.  We consciously design every aspect of our worship to conform to that one goal, the glorification of God the Son, and the Father who sent Him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, who even helps us do so, because we are mere men and are not capable of this by ourselves!  We spend all our efforts and time in the pursuit of the simple and elegant truth that Christ is THE way, THE TRUTH, and THE life, and if that were not clear enough, that no one may come to the Father but through Him!  That is the objective truth that ALL disciples MUST pursue if they want to be His disciple.

Let’s get into the text and look at what Peter is saying about all this.

12-15:  I will be faithful to remind you

Remember that I intimated earlier that this is a very personal and deep reminder to me as a shepherd of the flock to remind you of these things?  That is what motivates me here, especially in this section.  Let’s just get right into Peter’s words because he says it better than I can, and God inspired His words, which is another point we will see later.

12:  Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.

  • It doesn’t matter that you know these things.  It is not even germane that you may be bored of me saying these things, though that is a different but related topic.  What I mean by that is that though I as your pastor have the three-fold duty to guard, guide and graze you, you ALSO have a duty here, and that is to listen with the brain God gave you engaged and to really hear what I’m saying, and then to make applications as you understand them.  Most so-called preachers today, if they read from the Scriptures at all, make little effort to actually exposit it in any kind of order at all.  One of the best bad examples I can think of is the oft-misused half-verse of Proverbs 29:18a, which reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”  That’s quoted from the King James Version, and I admit I chose it because it is using words that I want to highlight.  That’s bad, and you’ll see why.
  • When a modern “pastor,” and you may note the use of air quotes because I am decidedly NOT using that word according to the normal definition, uses that half verse, what usually follows is a 15-30-minute motivational speech about how God has a vision or dream for you, and you need to pursue this and share it with everyone you know so that you can be happy and you will be wise, and have all your god-sized dreams fulfilled.  Beloved, that verse, at least from the KJV, seems to support that, but the problem is that the definitions of words have changed since 1611.  It is now 2022, and none of those words are sufficient to explain the meaning of that verse.
  • Now I’ll give you a more modern, more accurate translation of the entire verse to demonstrate the difference.  The NASB95 reads, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.”  That translation was made at a time when things actually made sense, which is why I use the NASB, but look at what it says!  The word for “vision” is the Hebrew word chazōn, and it means “revelation,” and it literally is concerned with divine revelation, and in this case is connected to the message more than the means it arrives.  What this verse is actually saying is that where people are not reading and obeying Scripture, they are unrestrained, and other translations translate that as “cast off restraint.”  (As in ASV1901, BSB, DBY, ESV, HCSB, NIV, NIV1984, NKJV, NRSV, WEB, and even the Jewish Tanakh, which is our Old Testament!)  I have an electronic Bible that I can search this in, don’t be overly impressed.  It says if you want to escape the lawless behaviour found in society, KEEP THE LAW!  Do what the Scriptures SAY!  Jesus didn’t ABOLISH the law, friends, He COMPLETED it.  We should still know what at least the Moral Law is, and we call that the 10 commandments!  See?  I did pick that passage because it makes my point beautifully.
  • So Peter say, “I will ALWAYS be ready to remind you of these things.”  It is part of the three-fold chare to guard, guide, and graze you.  And he doesn’t just end the sentence there.  There is more:  “even though you already know them.”  You also, as I mentioned, have a duty here to KNOW these things.  You need to do this for yourself, and when your pastor does this for you, you have a responsibility to LISTEN.  If all you’re doing is finding fault, you are in danger.  You have a responsibility to try to glean what you can from what is being said, whether your preacher is eloquent and ordered or a hot mess.  The only exception is if you hear that person make false statements as if they were true.  Then you need to try to help them, but that’s a different topic.  Peter still isn’t finished.  “…and have been established in the truth which is present with you.”  That word “establish” is a form of the word sterizo, and it means confirming or fixing to the thing being referenced, in this case the truth.  And that truth that is with you?  Beloved, it is the Scriptures, the teaching to the NT Apostles and OT Prophets. 

13:  I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,

  • How long does this duty or sacred obligation continue for Peter, and consequently for you?  As long as you are alive and in this body, or what Peter calls his “earthly dwelling.”  It is his, and my, duty to stir you up, meaning to motivate you, to REMEMBER what the Scriptures say.  That’s why you always get the answer from me when you ask me a “what to do” kind of question, I will always ask, “What do the Scriptures tell us?”  We need to start there, Beloved, or we are starting in the wrong spot.

14:  knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

  • I am glad this evening that I am not Peter.  Here is where Peter tells us that his own death is imminent.  For commentators that are trying to date this after Peter’s death, they are almost right.  I think this may have been handed to a follower (possibly Luke from some other stuff I’ve seen, but I don’t know) to be brought to the same group of gatherings the first letter was addressed to, and maybe even others, and ultimately to us.  The timing of things 2000 years ago is largely surmise, sadly, but this does make sense and allow Peter to have written or dictated this if he gave it almost as they were taking him out to nail him to that upside-down cross.
  • The second part of the verse is Peter referring to something Jesus Himself said to him.  John 21:18-19–“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, “Follow Me!””  This little piece of prophecy Jesus gave Peter was about to be fulfilled and Peter knew it.  Maybe if you take this the way I have described, it will make more sense.  I can hope, anyway.

15:  And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.

  • And I think that’s why he had it written down and shipped off to the churches to read.  You know, I do the same thing.  Every week, at 9PM on the day of our Bible Study, my notes, with typos and all, and there are a lot of those, are posted to  I put up articles I’ve written.  I put up links to the video for as long as YouTube will allow them to be posted and not nixed.  I am very aware I will not always be here.  The Lord let me know that on 2 November 2014 when I had a heart attack.  Beloved, we ALL have a limited time here.  I hope mine lasts a while longer, there are things I want to say and do, but in case that doesn’t happen, I put it all on a website for anyone to access, for the express purpose of building you up and helping you.

You see, Peter knew this was his last hurrah, so to speak.  Paul knew when it was his time too, and both of these brothers were true examples of how to live in the light of that reality, and of what to do to help those placed in your care after you are gone.  Given how many people go to and what they look at, I expect it not to help very many people, but for those it does, all the effort is worth it.  I also have hard copy of all of this, and I’m keeping that output in some binders in my office.  Ideally, I would like to complete the entire New Testament if the Lord is kind to me, but if something should happen to me, then talk to my wife or children.  It will belong to them.  By the way, I have no plans to go anywhere, but I do think about this stuff, and it is relevant to the topic, so I mention that.

16-18:  We were eyewitnesses of His majesty

This isn’t so much as a clear division of thought as it is of the next logical step in Peter’s thought, and it is given in context of what has come before, in terms of those kinds of reminders that Peter has been writing about.  Think about this–Peter is saying, look, I need to remind you of the things that will help assure you of God’s calling and choosing you, and so I will write it down–and the first thing I will write down is that we aren’t just making this stuff up!  Let’s get into the text and you will see.

16:  For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

  • What else can Peter say here?  We didn’t just make this up, we were there!  We saw what happened, and we are faithfully reporting to you what we saw so that you may know also, and spread this good news yourself! 
  • When Peter says that he is not following “cleverly devised” narratives, he is literally saying he is not engaging in sophistry, and not being clever in his story-telling, unlike what they try to teach at seminaries today.  Semitaries–where faith goes to die.  In Homoletics, the class of how to preach a sermon, it is recommended that we use “stories.”  I must ask, “For what purpose?”  If a simple statement will do, why embellish it with a story?  It certainly doesn’t add to clarity.  I have heard some attempted sermons that simply insert a funny story to get people’s attention.  I can understand the desire to get people to listen to you, but is this really the most effective means?  I think not.  Just preach the text.  If you need a story or an analogy, this will become evident as you work on your sermon via the Holy Spirit.  Anyway, I’m not a homiletics instructor here. 
  • What does Peter say the Apostles were emphasizing in their sermons to the church? It is very clear here.  The power [dunamis, the miraculous power of God] and coming [parousia, the presence of Christ, e.g., in His transfiguration, the display of His divine presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is the undeniable, irresistible gospel [good news] of our Lord Jesus Christ and all of the implications it has for our lives in terms of how to live and what to expect.  Peter in fact says that the Apostles here all saw a transfigured Jesus at some point.  No one today can say that, by the way, so everyone that is claiming to be an Apostle today is lying to you, whether they know it or not.  Personally, I think most of them are just deceived by modern-day Montanism, which among other things contains the idea that God communicates to men outside of His holy Word, the Scriptures.  We call this group Charismatics properly, and most Pentecostals have bought into this nonsense to the great shame of that denomination in my opinion, and that isn’t holding a grudge, it is a former member who met some VERY dear believers in the Pentecostal church.  My first pastor was a Pentecostal, and he was a godly man, and preached the gospel whenever I heard him preach.  Yes, he had some unbiblical ideas, but I would venture to say that is a common issue in ALL of us at times.
  • What Peter is saying here is that he and the others that were named as Apostles by Christ Himself were actual eyewitnesses to His glory, and Peter has a specific memory in mind.

17:  For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”—

  • What Peter is recalling here is something unique to only three men alive at the time Jesus walked the earth.  Peter, and James and John, those “sons of thunder,” all accompanied the Lord Jesus up a mountain and they saw as Jesus was transfigured into, well, something else, but still clearly Himself.  They heard Him announced by the voice of none other than God the Father, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased!” Think of what they saw!  What they heard!  WHO they saw!  Who was with Him!  [Hint, some commentators think this was a staff meeting with Christ and his two future witnesses.  I don’t know what to think about that, but that is the direction I lean toward.]
  • Peter is simply telling us what he saw and heard, much like a reporter should do (as opposed to the political commentary that today passes for news).  Beloved, I repeat, Peter was there!  And he isn’t finished.

18:  and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

  • Peter heard the words, Beloved!  He knew where it originated!  He knew of whom it was spoken, because he was there with Him, God the Son, our blessed and beloved Lord Jesus Christ!  You’ll forgive me if I break out into a bit of doxology here!  Think about what Peter encountered!  Or James!  Or John!  These men all saw God the Son with their eyes and lived to tell about it!  They saw what Ezekiel saw (albeit without the myriad of wheels).  They saw what Isaiah saw!  And they were there by the invitation of God the Son, there on that holy mountain.

These men were just like us.  They were slaves of sin in their lives just like we are.  They each had issues and problems, and questions, and difficulties, and stresses, like that.  So do we.  I am not a charismatic, so I won’t put us in that text, we were not there, nor have any of us ever seen with our eyes (yet?) the glory of our Lord Jesus, the Christ of God.  But beloved, I would be blind to deny the parallels here.  Our Lord Jesus has invited us to come near and see Him as He is, and we are fools to continue to deny it.  Yet that is what the VAST majority of people do today, including at times ourselves!  We fail to understand what we are looking at, and sometimes that is a willing failure, because if we admitted it to ourselves, let alone anyone else, we would actually have to do something with that knowledge.  We would have to be changed by Him.  Beloved, that can only be good, what are we so afraid of?  Is it accountability?  Christ has paid the price for our redemption from sin.  Or is it that we are lazy?  Christ has done all the work!  Perhaps we do not know what to do, kind of like Peter, James, and John.  Peter didn’t know what to do, and he started blathering in response with his religious nonsense, just like I hear from all of us at times.  We find reasons to simply be religious, and we know all the right doctrine, and we keep finding excuses about why stuff won’t work, and can’t happen, and we throw up our hands in supposed helplessness.


If you have challenges, look to Christ for wisdom, and then obey what He tells you!  But you need to take care that you do what He says, because this is about your sanctification.  Be faithful, as Peter was, and even though things didn’t end well for Peter in a fleshly sense, Peter is now forever with the King of Glory.  You can’t beat that as an ending to the story of Peter.  Moving on.

19-21:  This isn’t just my interpretation here

I am often accused of interpreting Scripture my own way, and some of you have heard people say this to me publicly over the years.  Well, Peter probably heard that sort of thing as well, because he is either responding to it or anticipating it here, and I’m not sure which.  I’m pretty sure that Peter faced accusations of writing and speaking fiction as well, so let’s have a look at how he dealt with that.

19:  So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

  • One of the illegitimate criticisms laid at the feet of Christian proponents is that the New Testament is a result of the oral stories and narratives of the Apostles that they made up.  Earlier, we looked at Peter addressing that argument (1:16) when he emphatically stated he wasn’t making this up.  Here, as with the last couple of verses, he has indicated that in the telling of these facts, that he not only didn’t follow the sophistry he was accused of, but that he was not the only one who saw these things, and was not the only one to have written it down.  It is in the comparison of these writings of the New Testament we find this prophetic word made more certain in a direct comparison with the Old Testament. 
  • There are well-known teachers today that would “unhitch” from the Old Testament because (and this is the real reason I suspect) they do not wish to deal with the controversy of dealing with the perceived (and it is only perceived, and only when one does not have a grasp on the holiness of God and His purposes) contradiction between the God of the Old and New Testaments.  I can save you the trouble.  It is the same God.  In fact, if you were to honestly read both Old and New Testaments and actually compare them, you would see that all of the Old Testament is Christian Scripture, not just the New Testament.  And if a fellow like me, a maverick that has a minimal education as regards the professional ministerial qualifications set by your semitaries…I mean seminaries…has to point that out to you, then maybe you need to do a little repenting, gentlemen.  God is a loving and forgiving God in both testaments, and He will forgive your lack of understanding if you ask Him to do so.  Otherwise, I find it necessary to “unhitch” myself from any teacher that would “unhitch” from the Old Testament as also Christian Scripture.  If you don’t like that, well, too bad.  It is what Peter is directly saying here.
  • Peter also tells us that we need to pay attention [Gk., prosecho, to give heed to, to hold to, to attend to, to turn one’s mind toward] to this more sure word of prophecy!  Beloved, rather than abandon our Old Testament roots, rather we should invest the time it takes to understand them in the context of the New Testament and understand the differences in the covenants!  To do otherwise is to disobey the holy writ to pay attention to thesxe things.  Why?
  • Because it is a lamp shining in a dark place!  I don’t know what your daily routine is, but I like to read just before I go to sleep.  These days, I read a spiritual book that informs my theology, or helps my devotional life.  I don’t want to turn this into a talk on the kinds of things to read at bed time, because it’s usually after 10PM as I’m going to bed.  Even on the longest day of the year, you need something to see the book.  You need a light source.  Beloved, this more sure word of prophecy is that figurative light source that shows you where you are going, what you should be doing, and pitfalls, snares, and hazards to avoid.  Psalm 199:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  That’s why.  Okay, then for how long do we do this?
  • Well, until the day dawns and the Morning Star arrives in your heart.  This is Peter referring to the actual conclusion of the prophetic calendar to when our Lord Jesus Christ appears to put down the rebellion against Him and establish His kingdom for the rest of time and beyond that to His eternal kingdom where He will abolish all sin and unrighteousness and their horrid results of death, sin, pain, tears, and every evil thing.  In His kingdom only righteousness will dwell (3:13, and we will get there).  That’s what Peter is saying here.  We must follow Him through all of what He brings our way, no matter how bad it may seem (and remember, he has just informed us that he is about to be executed for being a believer).  We must be His disciple in reality.  Want to know how to do that?  Join us here on 17 September 2022 and we will talk about those things.

20:  But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

  • Now some of you here have heard individuals call me out with the phrase, “That’s your interpretation.”  Peter in this verse also seems to be anticipating this comment.  You have heard me also answer publicly that it isn’t just MY interpretation, but to the best of my knowledge it is the historical opinion of Christianity as a whole and supported by a consistent reading of Scripture.  This kind of thing is exactly what Peter is addressing in the next two verses as he begins to broach the topic of the coming invasion of false teachers into the church.
  • Peter explains here the background of what he is talking about; “is a matter” in this verse is the result of the translators of the NASB on the Greek word ginetai, and it means more exactly “to come into being” or “to arise.”  This is important, because Peter is telling us that no Scripture, Old or New Testament, came into being in the same fashion as all the coming false prophecies would.  Look for a moment at Jeremiah 14:14.  It says, “Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.”  God did not speak to these men, they made their content up, pretty much from scratch, as opposed to God telling the prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Amos, Joel, Habbakuk, Daniel, and the great Italian prophet Malachi (LOL, no, it’s pronounced Ma’-la kai, and he was the last prophet included in the Old Testament).  These men wrote their prophecies because God told them to write what they wrote, and over a period of centuries, and all before the birth of Christ!  NONE of them made it up.  In fact, many of them did not want the job, but they were faithful with the commands that God gave them!  And there is something else you need to understand.
  • The Greek word that is translated by the English word “interpretation” here is a very weak (but traditional) translation.  The Greek word is epileuseōs, and in English it indicates how an individual understands the meaning of Scripture, but in Greek, the noun is genetive, and this goes more at the source from which the Scripture originates.  Peter is not talking about the interpretative meaning so much as the origins of the Scriptures themselves.  We see this in the next verse, by the way, so we go there now.

21:  for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

  • No prophecy in Scripture was ever something just made up by a human.  There is literally nothing of man in the substantive meaning of Scripture.  Men did not make it up as they went along or as a result of some hidden agenda for their own benefit and your detriment!  No, Peter tells us the actual mechanism, and it was the same in both Old and New testaments.  Men, moved by the Holy Spirit spoke because God Himself gave them something very specific to say, and they said it to the best of their own abilities, in their own words, faithfully communicating what God had told them to say or write.  Not a single meaning of man is to be found in the 31,000+ verses of the entire Bible are of human origin, though men wrote it down.  Imagine that.  It is literally God making Himself known to men through men He Himself chose to record the message for all men everywhere.  I’m using “men” inclusively here, and including all people regardless of biology.

Now I should take a few moments to address the individuals that like to toss around that phrase, “That’s your interpretation.”  I will be kind, so please be patient.  When you say that, you are usually trying to express disagreement with what the Scripture itself says in plain language.  Your assertion suggests two things to all who hear it:  First, that there is more than one way to understand what is written in the Word of God, and second, that you think what I have said is incorrect.  I will address both aspects of this.

There is only one God, and He only wrote one word, though He used over 40 men to do so over about 1500 years of our time.  In its original languages, the Word itself is perfect, and we still have as close as humanly possible to the original text written down.  All of those words have actual meanings and have limited scope of interpretation as to meaning, because words mean specific things.  If you believe I have erred in my understanding of those words, please show me what the Scriptures actually say.  If you do not, I will assume you are simply attempting to shut me up, and I will respond appropriately and turn up the volume and amount that you hear, because I will think you need to hear what the Scriptures truly teach.

If you think I have erred in what the Bible teaches, then we should also have an intelligent and prayerful conversation with open Bibles to hash out what the Lord has informed humanity of in His word.  If you will not engage in this kind of discussion, then I MUST engage Matthew 18 church discipline and strongly encourage you to read the Scriptures, and pray about what you have said, and maybe even repent.  If you still won’t either try to come to some common understanding of what the Scriptures teach or apologize, I will bring someone who understands the Scriptures along and we will talk.  If you STILL refuse to engage or apologize, I will bring what has become nothing more than a baseless accusation at this point (because you are not defending your assertions but rather hiding behind them) and I will tell it to the entire congregation, with witnesses (plural) to at least the second conversation, which I will have brought with me then.  Then I will explain what the Scriptures say to do with a contentious man–that he be marked (that is identified) and avoided (that is be put out so that he may have time to think, pray, and repent).  The congregation will vote, and then the chips will fall where God wills.

I really don’t want to go in that direction, so before you hurl that insulting remark of how I’m interpreting the Scripture in a way you don’t agree with, I suggest thinking twice and maybe taking the approach of coming to me with why you think I’m wrong so we can have a peaceful and intelligent conversation.  I know I misunderstand things, just like everyone.  But don’t presume to come without a Bible.  That’s just your opinion and not based on the Word of God, which you now know is not of human origin and only has one correct interpretation which is for the most part fairly clear.

That’s what I saw in the chapter, Beloved.

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